Marketers must verify their web content is mobile-ready to keep top search results positions, as smartphone adoption breaches halfway mark.

The fact that some people are already on their third or fourth devices might blind them to the fact that smartphone penetration in the United States just passed the halfway mark last year, according to a recent eMarketer report. Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Sweden have also breached 50 percent adoption, while Canada, Japan and much of Western Europe are expected to pass the same benchmark this year or next. This is great news for marketers because smartphone users are often ready to buy when they search for products or storefronts on their mobile phones.

Brafton recently published a blog outlining the effects of mobile users’ search behaviors on marketers’ SEO strategies. It explains that a person conducting a search for an AT&T store on a smartphone is likely planning to visit an establishment immediately. As such, search engines prioritize results differently for mobile queries, serving nearby locations first and often providing one-click directions to those businesses.

However, the stakes are higher for brands competing for priority positions in mobile SERPs. Google only displays a few domains above the fold on smaller screens, compared with the seven to 10 it displays on PCs.

Fortunately, marketers don’t have to rethink their SEO strategies completely when they use responsive web design (RWD) to display online content on mobile devices. The same strategies apply for mobile and desktop search success – easily crawlable web design, targeted keywords, fresh custom content and reputable link profiles help websites rise to the top of SERPs.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.